Audi plans Maybach-rivalling W12 A8 flagship

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Jimi Beckwith

Audi is planning the return of the super-luxury Horch name, which will be used on a flagship A8 that could also mark the return of the VW Group’s W12 engine to the Audi line-up.

Automotive News reports that the Audi A8 Horch will likely bring the W12 powertrain – currently only used in the Bentley range and not yet relaunched in the A8 – back to the brand, but that an Audi insider claims a V8-engined version would also work. 

The return of the Horch name – the surname of one of Audi’s original founders – would be Audi’s equivalent of Mercedes’ revival of Maybach. The name was last used in 1932. 

This means no Horch-badged stand-alone models like the Maybach 57 and 62 would be planned. Audi doesn’t plan to stretch the badge beyond the A8, although Mercedes has a Maybach SUV in the pipeline aimed at China, as well as having demonstrated coupé and cabriolet Maybach concepts

The A8 Horch will get 585bhp 6.0-litre iteration of the engine – 300cc less than that of the earlier A8 W12 but 85bhp more powerful. In the previous-generation A8 W12, combined fuel economy of 22.8mpg was claimed, with CO2 emissions of 290g/km. 

It’s reported that although the W12 A8 is ready for launch, it’s currently being postponed. 

Autocar is awaiting a response from an Audi spokesman.

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